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Power cuts temporarily on hold as CPC resumes fuel supply to CEB

There will be no interruptions to the power supply for the time being as the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has temporarily resumed its fuel supply to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).

Power & Energy Ministry Information Director Sulakshana Jayawardena told RepublicNext that the CPC has, for the time being, agreed to supply fuel to thermal power plants including emergency power plants.

“The fuel supply is back, but it is not clear at the moment what the solution will be,” said Jayawardena.

The CPC had earlier refused to supply fuel to all thermal plants claiming it was unable to exceed the borrowing limit. The CEB owes Rs. 80 billion to the CPC in fuel bills. One-hour power outages were reported in several areas yesterday as a result of the crisis.

“The CBE has to pay Rs. 80 billion to the CPC. There is a concession provided to CEB consumers, which should come from the Finance Ministry. That or we increase the borrowing limit,” said Jayawardena, offering a possible solution to the deadlock.

The CEB also owes massive amounts to independent power producers (IPPs), leading to the closure of at least one due to nonpayment of bills.

According to Jayawardena, these outstanding amounts will be covered from CEB revenues as well as funds from the Treasury. At present, the CEB sells power at approximately Rs. 16 a unit at a cost of over Rs. 20 a unit.

See our sister site EcononyNext for further background.
Read our explainer on the power crisis here.